The saying “No rest for the weary” seems to fit Dan Englander of UK-based label KingUnderground. He runs the imprint all by himself, is a beatmaker under the moniker of Pings, keeps on striving for high-quality vinyl pressings and the best possible mastering instead of settling for less, and has a side-job to be able to continue this beautiful struggle.
Started off in 2005 as an online record store, KingUnderground changed into a record label five years later when Dan got to know hip hop producer Lewis Parker, who asked him to release his album. Now, twelve years later, KingUnderground is home to artists like Fredfades, Planet Asia, Lewis Parker, Simiah, and Mr. Brown.
After being in touch for years, we’ve asked KingUnderground’s main man Dan for one of our guest mix features. The result: an untitled mix full of hip hop, jazz, funk and soul, accompanied by a short Q&A for you to get to know the driving force behind the label.
Tune into the 1-hour mix now for a selection including Gang Starr, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Kan Kick, Ivan Ave, Marc Moulin, Thes One, Roy Ayers, and many more.
Is KingUnderground your full-time occupation?
Which projects or releases do you consider to be KingUnderground’s “magnum opus”?
Fredfades & Ivan Ave – Breathe – I feel honoured to have been a part of this. When we put it out I wasn’t sure how people would take it, as Ivan is Norwegian but raps in a US accent, it could’ve went either way. Fred & Ivan have now become a major part in this underground hip hop scene. I’m proud to have been a part of that.
Lewis Parker – The Glass Ceiling – If it wasn’t for Lewis, KingUnderground wouldn’t be going now I think. The dude’s major prolific Shark and The Glass Ceiling are our best selling records to date. I could’ve picked a number of his records, my favourite is his new record Release The Stress.
“It’s very important to me that stuff sounds as good as possible. I need to feel happy with the music we are selling, even if that means we make less”